What is an opioid? Opioid is a term that is used to refer to opiates, which are drugs derived from the opium poppy, and opioids, synthetic drugs that emulate opiates in their effects. Using this umbrella definition for opioid, numerous drugs can be called opioids. All of them are addictive and can be highly dangerous. One of the most potent opioids is fentanyl. A few grains of fentanyl can lead to overdose and even death. Because it is finding its way into supplies of other opioids, such as heroin, it poses many risks to opioid users who may find themselves addicted to fentanyl. The most effective way to stop using this highly dangerous opioid is to enter a fentanyl addiction treatment program.
Opioid abuse is still an enormous problem in the United States. The opioid epidemic, which took center stage in the 1990s with the advent of the synthetic opioid oxycodone, is still with us. Learn more about fentanyl and other opioids and how to start your recovery by calling Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) today at 844.442.8673 or by using our online form.
The Signs of Opioid Abuse
If you are concerned that your use of opioids is not within your control, you are not alone. Opioids, when not used as prescribed or when acquired illegally, are dangerous. You can also become dependent even when you do use a prescription opioid properly. It interferes within the brain to create its pain-relieving and euphoric effects, and soon the brain and body become hooked. They cannot function without the drug’s effects.
Some of the signs that use has become addiction are:
- Withdrawal symptoms when the drug is withheld
- Powerful cravings between doses
- Lethargy, low sex drive, poor attention span
- Rapid weight loss
- Failure to take care of basic nutrition and hygiene
- Sleep problems
- Chronic flu-like symptoms
- Failed relationships
- Social isolation
- Financial setbacks related to drug seeking and use
- Lying, cheating, stealing, and other behaviors that indicate addiction has superseded ethical constraints
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, either in you or someone you care about, look into opioid addiction treatment. Remember, any use of an opioid purchased on the street is opioid abuse. Similarly, any unauthorized use of a prescription opioid is also considered opioid abuse. In other words, if you take more than prescribed or take prescription opioids you have stolen or that have been given to you by a friend or family member, you are misusing this powerful drug and need to be careful.
Is Fentanyl an Opioid?
The first time any human used the derivatives of the opium poppy in medicine was 8000 years ago in ancient Sumer. Many ancient civilizations, including India, China, the Greeks, Egyptians, and Arabs, and throughout Europe during the middle ages and renaissance, understood that opium was a powerful and effective drug. By the time it was widely used in the 19th century for pain and sedation, it began to cause problems, namely frequent death by poisoning (or overdose).
Morphine was first developed from opium in the 1950s and was at first considered less dangerous. Since that time, science has developed a healthy respect for all drugs within the opioid family which are controlled substances. Though heroin, also derived from opium, is no longer used medically, morphine and codeine are. Synthetic drugs such as oxycodone mimic the properties of opiates but with even greater potential potency.
In the list below, all but heroin are considered prescription opioids:
Not only is fentanyl definitely an opioid, but it is also one of the most powerful opioids in existence. Developed eighty years ago as an anesthetic, fentanyl is still used in medical settings. It can be deadly if used outside medical supervision as it is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl’s potency increases the risk of addiction. It is impossible to tell if a bag of heroin or other drug has traces of fentanyl in it.
Help for Opioid Abuse at PAATC
Anyone can find themselves addicted to an opioid. Countless people who were injured on the playing field or on the job were given Oxy prescriptions that eventually led to dependence and addiction. Naïve teens or non-conformists of all ages can experiment with an opioid once or twice only to find themselves in a situation that is no longer in their control. But there is hope for recovery.
At PAATC, our fentanyl addiction treatment program, as well as treatment programs for other opioid addictions, can help you get your life back. Through evidence-based therapies, faith-centered treatment, peer support, and many programs that focus on wellness and recovery, PAATC can help you with your addiction to opioids like fentanyl.
Reach out today to learn more. We want to help you regain what you’ve lost and begin your life in recovery. Call today at 844.442.8673 or simply fill out this online form to connect with one of our compassionate professional staff members.